Whenever I plan a ski trip to the bigger resorts down the road (i.e., Snowmass, Aspen, or Aspen Highlands), I plan to ski a day or two at Sunlight on the front end to get used to the altitude and tweak some leg muscles that I don't normally use very much. With a 2010' vertical drop and 80% of its terrain rated Intermediate or above, Sunlight would likely be well-known if not for the nearby mega-resorts down route 82. But Sunlight's misfortune can save you money. Depending on the deals available (and Sunlight runs a lot of 'em), you should be able to save 50% or more over a day at Snowmass. Further, the lift lines are relatively short, the (fairly basic) food at the cafeteria is cheap, and the employees are downright friendly. If, early in your trip, you don't have the stamina to go all-out at Snowmass or Aspen, why pay their prices? I generally get a half-day lift ticket at Sunlight on day one, and then spend that afternoon soaking at the
Glenwood Springs Spa to work out the kinks in my legs. BTW, sitting in the outdoor mineral spa is a great place to watch the snow fall!
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